In the Beginning There Was Boom
“Boom is all about totally rejecting this outdated idea that fat people should hide themselves away from the world. You see that reflected in the drab colours or black everything in so many lines, and how if stores even deign to have a plus-size section they’ll hide it away at the back. Screw that noise. You’re here, you’re awesome and you deserve wonderful clothes”
Frustrated by a lack of ethical clothing options in larger sizes, Joanna decided to create her own. The resulting label, House of Boom is launching on Friday 14 and will be available to the public via houseofboom.co.nz and a pop-up shop happening in Wellington on 15 & 16 December.
The line consists of a fitted t-shirt, a skirt, a knit dress and a sack dress, with each available in a variety of colours. “Everything is cotton and everything has pockets. That’s been the rules since Day 1”.
“I very deliberately picked bright colours because that’s what I like to wear”
McLeod is a champion for ethical production. With pattern-maker and production manager Iona Woolgrove overseeing the development from her Berhampore studio, and sewing done in Wellington too, everyone involved with the manufacturing is on good wages.
“I know the manufacturing is only one step in the process, and as Boom grows, I plan on working harder to get fabric that’s ethically made, that I can trace the origins of. That takes time and money but I’m committed to getting to that point.”
The village nature of Wellington has played a huge part in getting the label established.
“One of the best things about House of Boom is all the amazing people I’ve got to work with. Iona is an absolute legend for turning my vision into reality, I have some of the most lovely people running small businesses supplying jewellery & underwear for sale alongside the clothes, and so many of my friends have helped me out too, with everything from website SEO to modelling the clothes for me.
It’s been a hectic six months getting to launch point, but Joanna already feels like she’s succeeded in some areas.
“After the photoshoot last weekend I got a text from one of the models saying that her 12 year old daughter, who she’d brought along to the shoot, had been really inspired and decided that she wants to start a sports clothing line for big girls, and honestly, I was so happy I cried. Who knows where this thing will take me, but at least I’ve got to hang out with a bunch of fat babes along the way and that’s always worth celebrating”.